Woman, Thy Name Is Complexity.

She is complex. She is misunderstood.

Memes and popular culture say that she is a mystery that can never be understood.

From teenagehood to motherhood, she is surrounded with such beliefs.

From fathers to boy-friends and to husbands, her ‘mystery’ is left unraveled

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I’m sure you can already tell what this article is about, by its topic.

In the few years I have been on this earth, I can’t count how many tales I’ve heard from different people, mostly young people, on clashes or disagreements they have had with their mothers. I, also, have had my fair share with my mother.

Growing up, I was sort of the middle child, and this meant that I was also the messenger. I was almost always on dish duty i.e washing plates; I was the one the one everyone would send when they were too tired to do anything, etc. I was practically frustrated. And I directed all my frustration towards one person – my mother.

It seemed like she was always on my case; finding faults, dishing out errands, picking on me….the list was endless. I was so upset most of the time that I even once asked my elder sister if I was adopted.

At boarding school, I realized I wasn’t the only person with such problems. My mates and I would trade stories of how our mothers had embarrassed us or annoyed us, from our own points-of-view. I grew up, got into the university and it still seemed like nothing had changed between my mother and I. However in the university, something happened that gave my life a 360 degree turn – I met God.

I had been a Christian all my life, had answered altar calls (given my life to Christ) various times in secondary school, but this was different. To be clear, this change didn’t happen in one day, or one year thereabout; it took time. I fell in love with God and realized His unconditional and unpretentious love for me and I wasn’t letting go.

However, in my third year, things took a more drastic turn. My school chaplain (pastor) asked us a simple question, one day in church service. He said, ‘…how many of you pray for your mothers?’ It was like he was speaking to me alone, and in that moment, I realized that I had done every other thing but pray for her. I thank God for that day when he opened my eyes. Like Bartimaeus, I had been blind, not physically, but to the fact that my mother also had issues and problems that she needed help with.

That marked the turning point.

I got home that holiday ready to prove to everyone, most especially my mother, that I had changed positively.  But it seemed as if the more I tried, the more impossible it seemed to be. But this time, instead of murmuring, grumbling and having pity-parties as I used to, I turned to God. If I wanted to cry, I cried unto Him, every single burden I had, I laid it at his feet, but one thing was sure, I wasn’t going to stop trying. I finally went back to school again.

However, this holiday has been an eye-opener. I came home for the holidays at the beginning of May and found out my mother was on leave from work. Oh! How tempted I was to expect the worst! But I decided to keep on; believing, praying and expecting that the relationship between my mother and I would become far better than it was. It did happen. And in no time, my mother seemed to change before my very eyes, or maybe she was always like this and I just didn’t notice.

She began to show that she cared more, and this stumped me because I had never seen her act this way before. She became very playful, cracking jokes with my father and I. the woman I thought was so up-tight and strict, was actually still a girl at heart. From this I learnt that, a little perseverance, determination, understanding coupled with God’s almighty arm does wonders.

I wrote this article, with the hope that anyone going through similar or not-so-similar circumstances comes to the realization that you are not alone, God is with you; and with more prayer and perseverance, you will come out of this.